Carnegie Mellon University

The Rise of the Privacy Engineer

We live in a data economy. Nearly every product, service or process with which we interact collects and processes some data about us. This data goes on to feed machine learning algorithms designed to predict our tastes, our habits, our future behaviors, or future possible health ailments to name just a few of the many different ways in which our data is consumed. Along with this increasing dependence on personal data, we have seen the emergence of increasingly stringent regulations designed to keep organizations that collect and process our data accountable. Regulations such as GDPR and CCPA also come with steep penalties for organizations that fail to meet their requirements. These developments have in turn created unprecedented demand for professionals capable of operating at the intersection of law and technology and led to the emergence of Privacy Engineering as a highly desirable career and one for which there is a significant shortage today.

"I cannot recommend CMU's program highly enough. World class faculty, engrossing topics, and an opportunity to connect with other professionals working in the privacy space. You will walk away with actionable knowledge and deep new insights . Best bang for your buck spread across four very quick weekends."
Gregory Shields, Privacy@Deloitte

A Hands-On Certificate Program for Fully Employed Professionals

In 2013, in response to this emerging need and anticipating rapid growth of the profession, Carnegie Mellon University launched a first of its kind one-year full-time program designed to train people with a technical background to become privacy engineers. Program graduates have been in high demand, with many hired to work for big name tech companies as well as smaller organizations, non-profits and government. Despite its success, the program is unable to accommodate professionals who cannot afford to leave their jobs and spend a year or more in Pittsburgh to retool as privacy engineers. The Carnegie Mellon University Certificate Program in Privacy Engineering builds directly on the content of the University's Master's Program and offers a condensed training experience tailored to the needs of working professionals.

Upon completing the intensive 4-week program with coursework offered remotely over weekends, students will have gained a deep appreciation and practical knowledge of the many facets of privacy engineering. The program revolves around a combination of mini-tutorials, class discussions, and hands-on exercises designed to ensure that students develop practical knowledge of all key privacy engineering areas. In the process, they learn about legal and public policy considerations, fundamentals of information security, privacy-by-design concepts, methodologies for engineering privacy in software, usable privacy and security, privacy enhancing technologies, as well as mathematical and logic foundations of privacy. 

The program is available for individual enrollment and can also be offered to cohorts of students from a single organization. For more information about the program, contact us.


"I had high expectations entering this program and actually learned even more than I expected coming in. I loved how the program weaves together law, tech, and human behavior in the way it covers privacy engineering. I look forward to applying the concepts I learned in my work as a software engineer."

Software Engineer, Comcast.

"A fantastic program that builds up from notions of privacy, through current global regulations and up to advanced technology such as differential privacy and AI fairness."

Dr. Philip Ward, Associate Director, Privacy Technology & AI Ethics, National Australia Bank.

"This program gave me the tools to engineer privacy into our products and systems from the start. The program was engaging, accessible, and challenged me to expand my view and knowledge of how to build privacy into our company's initial offerings and beyond"

Jenn Sydeski, Founder & CEO, Connect Wolf.